path in the woods

Moon Girl and Mirror were working side by side on a particularly hard day. It was cold and their arms and hands hurt from the seemingly endless job of pruning dead branches as well as training up the new young shoots. As they paused to take a break a messenger arrived with news that a visitor would be arriving shortly. She was being sent from another estate to help teach the girls in this part some new methods as well as work along side them for a time. All the girls around were excited, their fields were large and any help was very welcome. They were also curious to know more about the visitor so waited in eager anticipation until she arrived.

Glory, when she came was met with great excitement and a mini party,  all the girls had brought small gifts to greet her. Mirror brought her a garland of fresh blooms she wove from the flowers that grew in her garden. Glory however, had brought a huge hamper of gifts sent from the other estate, she handed out many of the gifts but some she kept in reserve.

Glory was lovely, she smiled readily and the girls quickly grew to love her. Their work was made easier and more delightful. Moon Girl grew particularly fond of her, she had always longed for an older sister and Glory fell so easily into this role. As their friendship grew so did their confidences in one another. They spent time on their breaks exploring many places in the glades around their work. Moon Girl had discovered these places on her own and had even decorated them with varied colourful blooms. She was eager to share them with her new sister-friend and they became more lovely to Moon Girl when they explored them together as Glory added her own touches to the beauty.

On one of their walks Moon Girl asked Glory to tell her a story about her life in the other estate. It was a hard story about people whom Glory had loved as well as some unkind ones who had harmed Glory. Moon Girl had been hoping for a happy tale but this one had a tragic ending. The girls wept together and embraced. Glory wiped her eyes and smiled again, she said: “I have learnt some painful lessons in those fields back home but some were good for me. Now, if you like I can teach you some of what I have learnt.” Moon Girl saw how brave Glory was even though she could see the hurt was still there.

One day while the girls were tackling a section of the field that was filled with thorns, Glory came over to Moon Girl to take the sheers out of her hands. “You’re using the wrong tool” she said “Here, take these” and she handed her a new trowel and protective gloves that were unused gifts from the hamper. Moon Girl would be able to dig right to the roots of the thorns to extract them. She took the gloves and trowel but as she looked up she noticed the other girls had paused in their work and were watching them. She suddenly felt shame that she hadn’t known how to do what should have been obvious even though a minute ago she had been grateful for the gifts.

That evening sleep evaded her. As she reflected on the incident in the day, the seed of shame in her heart slowly grew to become anger towards Glory. The kindness and help shown to her was choked out by her own feelings of pride and insecurity in front of the other girls. How could she have done that to her and also, why did it bother her what the others thought? She was perturbed and restless. After a long time and feeling exhausted, she came to the decision not to mention how she was feeling to Glory, to try and forget about it and just to continue as if everything was the same.

She actually didn’t see Glory the whole of the next day. Mirror was there and they spent their time together on the thorny patch again. Mirror could sense that Moon Girl was quieter than usual and asked her if she was alright. Moon Girl just said she found this area of the field fairly challenging. Mirror agreed with her and they started to talk about other things.

On the following day as Moon Girl was walking home in the evening by herself she heard Glory’s voice calling her from behind. She stopped and allowed Glory to catch up with her. “Would you like to walk home along the path that crosses the stream?” Glory asked. Moon Girl said yes although she felt a little nervous about how to pretend as if things were the same as before. As they got to the stream Glory paused and looked at Moon Girl. “I needed to talk to you alone”, she said, ” because when I left the field yesterday I felt uneasy about something.” Moon Girl was worried then that Glory would tell her off for not having done her job better.

“I’m sorry”, Glory continued. “I really ought to have given you those gifts without the others seeing and I’m especially sorry because I think I may have caused you to be upset.” Moon Girl was so surprised her eyes filled with tears and saw that Glory’s had done the same. As they were tearfully reconciled she thanked Glory for her bravery in coming to speak to her even though she herself had been angry. That day, through forgiveness the ties in their friendship solidified into gold. She knew that things were not the same as before, they were even better.

A while later, news came once more to their estate, this time that Glory had to return home. In the beginning Moon Girl ignored the news, she thought perhaps things might change and that Glory could get permission to stay longer. As the day for departure drew closer it slowly dawned on Moon Girl that this was going to be real. It broke her heart and she lay inconsolable on her bed for the day, refusing to go to work. A note from the owner of the lands arrived at her door at the end of the day. It said “Moon Girl, I heard you were upset, why are you crying? Glory has to return for a while but be assured your friendship is gold-forged and imperishable as a result.” The note ended with a promise that they would see one another again.

Glory’s departure was bitter for the girls in Moon Girl’s little world. Moon Girl had made a new and more lovely garland for Glory out of the flowers they had both planted in the glades and Glory returned home with her hamper filled to the brim by all the girls.

Mirror and Moon Girl spent many days together reflecting on what they had lost and learnt. Glory had helped them more than they could have imagined or dreamed of. They tried not speak about her too much as it made them both sad although sometimes happy too. There were many times Glory had made them both laugh so much. The gloves and trowel became well worn and Moon Girl passed them around so that they could be used by everyone. Most importantly though, she kept the note from the owner in a pocket close to her heart as she clung to the promise that she would one day see her beloved sister-friend again.

Part Three The Pools

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